Iran sentences US pastor to 8 years for Christianity

Tehran’s “hanging judge” sentences US-Iranian pastor Abedini, who has allegedly been beaten and tortured since last fall.

January 27, 2013 21:46
1 minute read.
American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini with family

American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini with family 370. (photo credit: Courtesy ACLJ)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


BERLIN – Iran’s “hanging judge” convicted and sentenced American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini on Sunday to eight years in Evin Prison because of his Christian faith.

Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice, informed The Jerusalem Post on Sunday of the conviction. His organization represents Abedini’s family in the US and is working to secure his release.

Judge Pir-Abassi, whose reputation as Tehran’s “hanging judge,” prompted the European Union to sanction him for human rights violations, orally sentenced Abedini to eight years in prison for threatening the national security of the Islamic Republic because of his leadership role in Iran’s Christian house church community.

Sekulow wrote “the evidence provided was of Pastor Saeed [Abedini]’s Christian activities primarily during the early 2000s, when under then-president [Mohammad] Khatami house churches were not perceived as a threat to Iran. Despite Iranian law requiring a written verdict, none was given.

“Here’s the troubling reality,” he continued, “a US citizen who has been beaten and tortured since his imprisonment last fall, is now facing eight years in Evin Prison, one of the most brutal prisons in Iran.”

Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, was quoted on ACLJ’s website saying, “The promise of his release was a lie. We should not trust the empty words or promises put out by the Iranian government. These false hopes amount to psychological torture. You don’t want to trust them, but they build a glimmer of hope before the crushing blow.

“With today’s development I am devastated for my husband and my family. We must now pursue every effort, overturn every rock, and not stop until Saeed is safely on American soil.”

Naghmeh and her two children live in Idaho.

Sekulow has called on the international community to demand Saeed’s release.

“Iran has not only abused its own laws, it has trampled on the fundamentals of human rights,” he said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Bushehr nuclear Iranian
August 5, 2014
Iran and the bomb: The future of negotiations


Cookie Settings